Massachusetts: Candidates Roll Out Big Endorsements in Special

Posted November 30, 2009 at 5:52pm

The big-name endorsements are coming in fast and furious in the special Democratic Senate primary, with just a week left until Election Day.

Community service leader Alan Khazei received two high-profile endorsements in the past 48 hours for his dark-horse bid.

On Monday, Khazei got the nod from former NATO Supreme Allied Commander and 2004 Democratic presidential candidate Wesley Clark. In a statement, Clark cited Khazei’s leadership as co-founder of national community service program City Year.

“In City Year, I witnessed the closest thing I have seen to the military in civilian service,— Clark wrote. “I was so inspired by Alan Khazei and his program that I signed on to work with Alan and President [Bill] Clinton to bring City Year to Little Rock, Arkansas.—

And on Sunday, the Boston Globe endorsed Khazei in an editorial, writing that he “offers a strong vision for success in the Senate, channeling the energy of activist groups and private-sector policy incubators while dedicating himself to the laborious task of building legislative coalitions.—

Rep. Mike Capuano (D), meanwhile, nabbed the support of the Boston Herald on Monday and 1988 Democratic presidential nominee and former Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis on Sunday.

In a statement issued by the Capuano campaign, Dukakis said he met the six-term Congressman “as a young staffer at the State House,— then “watched him grow and develop into one of the best mayors in the Commonwealth— and “worked closely with him since his election to Congress.—

“Mike’s passion for public service and his dedication to his constituents are obvious. But it is his courage and his conviction on the important issues of the time that impress me most of all,— said Dukakis, whose wife, Kitty, had already endorsed Capuano.

Capuano is scrambling to close the gap in the polls with Democratic frontrunner Martha Coakley, the state’s attorney general. The latest surveys of the primary field have him firmly in second place, ahead of investor and Boston Celtics co-owner Stephen Pagliuca and Khazei, who has been stuck in single digits in the polls.

With light turnout expected for the Dec. 8 vote, there remains the possibility that one of the three men in the race could surprise Coakley if he is able to generate more energized support.